>> thanksgiving shoppers hitting stores early as retailers try to make up for a shortened holiday shopping season. riesing tensions in the east china sea. the steps china is taking to assert control over disputed territory with japan. >> a protest over the harsh sentencing of other protesters turns deadly in egypt. prominent arrests made in the latest clashes. >> midwest tornado victims celebrate the holiday together. what is getting them through a tough time and why they are still thankful.
>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. thanksgiving thursday is the new black friday. well, at least that's what major retailers are hoping in 2013. some of the nations biggest chains started the biggest shopping season. kmart welcomed shoppers at 6am. retailers say they needed to make the the the change because of the short span between thanksgiving and christmas. the earlier start meant shorter time at the skinner table. jennifer glass has the story. >> the christmas shopping season is shorter this year because thanksgiving falls so late in november. so some shoppers and retailers are happy to get an early stamp for several years retail erts have been intruding on the
thanksgiving holiday. it was a first for big-named like j.c. penney coles and macy's. >> shoppers are pouring in as the shopping season begins. across the shopping the shopping started before the turkey was in the oven. some kmarts opened at 6am. bargain electronics was the best buy. >> what are you shopping for? >> i don't know. nothing in particular. >> moose munch and cashews. >> not everyone was convinced the early start was a good thing. >> it should be a time with friends and family. i know it's a competition in other markets or other stores are open, so they have to compete as well. it's business. >> i mean, it feels odd.
it doesn't feel like thanksgiving. >> i think i would rather ret the employees have the night off. given that it's open, i'm shopping here. >> macey's employees are surprised by the customers when the doors flew open thanksgiving night. >> the national retail federation says $89 million shopped on black friday. that's compared with 35 million on thanksgiving day. president obama called members of the armed forces to thank them for their service and wish them for a happy thanks living. >> we give thanks to the freedom we defend. the freedom to say what we want. >> the president celebrated a low key thanksgiving with his family at the white house. many of his predecessors have gone to camp david during the holidays. >> 45,000 americans serving in afghanistan enjoyed a
traditional thanksgiving dinner. the pend gone says they were served 75,000 pounds of turkey, 50,000 of beef, 29,000 of sweet potato and 20,000 pounds of pie. hundreds of volunteers kept a tight grip on the terthed rope during the macy's parade, controlling the huge inflated characters and the 29 miles per hour windgust. >> al jazeera's jason garrett was there. >> macey's staff called them their gentle giants. 16 huge balloons flying through the canyons of new york, making it through the skye scrapers, as traditional as having the whole family over for a roast dinner. the 87th macy's parade almost didn't happen as planned, a messy storm slamming the midwest
passed over leaving blustery weather in its wake. winds higher than 73 miles per hour, gusting above 34 miles per hour would have kept the big boys on the ground. in the end stiff breezes didn't stop the balloons taking off. at times they are testing the strength of their handlers. macy's statements that 3.5 million braved the temperatures. 50 million would have seen it on tv. >> thanksgiving day parade, why wouldn't i want to be out here. >> the statistics for the parade that began in 1974 are staggering. >> more than 900 grounds, 16 balloons, drum majors, majorets and cheer leaders. >> listen closely as the parade wound down. you almost could hear a sigh of
relief from the macy's grow that things went off weight a hitch. >> it was a no-brainer for many, new york city's police department gave the permission for the ball on to fly. they were kept closer to the ground than usual. >> a lot of people are shopping today. on friday the rain ended across the north-east. we are seeing some cooler temperatures. snow across the great lakes and in parts of the new york and peninsula. up towards the north-west we are going to be seeing things deteriorating off the pacific. we'll see rain and clouds. it will be snow. that will be increasing as we go through the rest of the weekend. you can see not a lot of action taking place across the region. seattle.
it will be cloudy, going to rain showers on friday. progressively worse. saturday and sunday we expect to see the showers. a flying day for many. 53 degrees, lowing to 48. by the time we start the new week things will get better. we are seeing showers across sarn calf -- southern california, off to the pacific. the rain staying for the next day. by the time we get to saturday things are improving and temperatures are almost perfect. sunday a high of 77 degrees there. over towards texas, there's a bit of cold air, coming down with the major storm system. not a lot of terms of cloud or rain. this is what we expect to see. damn as getting to 58 at 62. the temperatures on the way up. sunday mostly cloudy at 66. cooler on monday and 64 for you.
>> the crash of a high speed ferry in hong kong injured 85, six seriously. the hydrofoil travelled from hong kong to mcou and it hit a submerged object. there were 107 passengers and 10 crew members aboard. no one has been reported missing much >> china sent war planes to their an air defense zone. china calls it a defensive measure after the united states, japan and south korea flew planes through the area. it's over a group of islands. >> it might take only one tiny miscalculation, or one tiny misunderstanding and these islands could be the center of a large international conflict. to the japanese they are the senkakku islands, and the chinese the diaoyu island.
thanks to china's introduction of what it calls an air defense identification zone or adiz they are the most talked about islands in asia. politics at home have a lot to do with it. >> translation: china, japan and korea face domestic issues. they want to divert attention. these countries want to find another issue they can quarrel about. >> china's decision to impose control over the air space has upset neighbours japan and south korea. it's been arged that the u.s. is -- argued that it's the u.s. that it most annoyed. >> translation: the adiz was originally introduced by the united states after japan's defeat in the second world war, to secure japan's safety. china is trying to introduce a new order. that's why the u.s. is more
sensitive to that than japan. >> on the streets of tokyo, there is concern. >> translation: i just can't understand why anyone would do this. if you don't know what your neighbour's thinking it's a reason to be afraid. >> my feelings of mistrust, anxiety and nervousness increased. >> the islands were never more than a foot night until a u.n. survey 40 years ago, suggesting there could be oil deposits beneath the seabed around them. that got taiwan and china originally interested. with so many countries involved, a misstep could have serious consequences for piece in the region. >> it's that miscalculation that joe biden hopes could be avoided when he visits the region next week. with oil deposits yet to be proven, the i would say hold
little real value and it could be a high stakes confrontation over nothing. >> an earthquake in iran has killed seven and injured dozens. the 5.6 magnitude quick hit close to the southern province. 40 miles north of a nuclear power plant. it damaged buildings and cut power to many areas. the egyptian law limiting demonstrations leads to the gaoling of protesters and protests. a student was killed in a clash. the crown was angered. a prominent leader was under arrest. he is charged with inciting protest. meanwhile family and friends are saying goodbye to the women heading to prison. >> dominic kane reports.
>> this woman looks through her daughter's bedroom. she is 19. on thursday she should have attended classes at university. instead she was starting an 11 year prison sentence. her daughter her has been conscientious and loves to draw and sketch. the news of the conviction has been like a body blow. >> translation: when we heard the verdict, it was shocking. very tough and unjust. my daughter told me, "mum, i'm 19 years old, after 11 years when i get out of prison i'll be 30 years old. you can't imagine how much hurt that caused me." >> she was one of 21 women and girls found guilty by courts in alexandria of a series of charges including thuggery,
illegal damage of property. they formed a human chain during protests against the military-led government several weeks ago. >> this is a lawyer representing the women and girls. he believes the case has been splittizized and facts though his clients are innocent. >> translation: there's no evidence at all in the papers of the lawsuit against my clients. from the moment they were arrested, through the time the judge announced the verdict and sentence, there's not one iwitness. human rights groups condemned the trial and sentenced. >> the sentence has been given under an older law from 1923. we as hume yn rights watch and
other -- human right watch and other groups considered restrictive. this is seen this the larger framework of restrictions on the rights of people to protest in a country where things have changed. in recent weeks, both the government and the courts have clamped down on protests. just over a week ago, 12 students from the university were gaoled for 17 years each for attempting to storm the hours of the institution: this week has seen the imposition of a new law to regulate protests causing opposition from political groups. the government says it will implement a new law protecting the rights of protesters and citizens. the severity of the sentences
given to the women and girls has shocked many people here, and led them to question the independence of egypt's judiciary. >> a union worker in brazil is blaming supervisors after an accident at a construction site. the worker told managers that the ground was unstable before a crane collapsed. the company said it received no warning. the stadium is one of a dozen ready in brazil. more than 1,000 people who lost their homes to torn aidios celebrate the holiday together. what they say they are thankful for despite losing everything. >> the thanksgiving problem at one center - too many volunteers ready to give of themselves. >> avoiding the madness of black friday. holiday shoppers shop online. why cyber monday is the best
>> devastating tornados left them homeless. many gave thanks nonetheless. more than 50 indiana families gathered at a church. the hot meals were a treat for those whose homes were damaged. those who lost everything. community groups made sure the victims enjoyed thanksgiving. the town of washington, illinois suffered a direct hit. we spoke to the family that returned to the church that saved their lives. >> james and his family attended services at this church on november, 17th, when the tornado tore through. >> those of us in the room, in the shelter i was at were quiet
and were praying. >> their home was among 1500 flattened by tornados. being back in the church a week later puts it in perspective. >> our faith has strengthened us. we have a lot of friend who love us. >> 1200 were expected. 1200 pounds of turkeys was donated. organising this one in the face of the worst tornado the town saw was a whirl wind of its own. >> it made us aware of the needs of people that surround us. whether they live on the other side of town or across the steet. >> vicky hudson is in charge. feast and is like a drill sergeant organising the food. she reveals a soft side talking about those that lost everything.
>> i have a home, they don't. this was a dining hall. we decided to deck it out to have a nice thanksgiving day. they need good memories. >> for a family like the wagners, this helped them to remember the support from the community. >> unused food will go to the food bank. the pastor said the tornado missed the building by 50 yards. >> for families relying on food stamps thanksgiving was rough. stimulus funds expired. congress didn't renew it cutting 5 billion from the program. >> what you doing? you're not
afraid. >> mercedes brown has been raising six grandchildren ages 2 to 13 since her daughter was murdered two years ago. >> i've been with her on her 28th birthday. >> brown says when her grandchildren moved in she got two jobs. still, it's tough to put food on the table around the holidays. this year she had to ask for help. >> everything on the table that i have - it's through the food bank. brown says this is her first time using the food pantry. she's not alone. gail runs the 11 action outreach in new orleans. >> i experienced an increase in new clients using the food banks for the first time. >> at the start of the month a temporary increase in supplement
at assistance programs ran out because congress failed to renew it, and it has affected 50 million americans. >> this thanksgiving more families are on need because of cuts. they are more reliant on foodpantries and other organizations to make ends meet. >> this food pantry helped about 200 new participants. they expect the number to go up as more people like mercedes brown come to her for help. >> it's the blessing to have the smell of thanksgiving. you can smell is it through everybody. you know it's thanksgiving because you know everyone is cooking. >> brown is truly thankful. >> thanksgiving 2013 motivated many americans to give back. groups that reach out to the needy say they wish more volunteers would say in the holiday spirit year round.
juan carlos molina has this story. >> thousands of homeless people come to places like this. the mission in lower manhattan, to get a hot thanksgiving people. it's a nice feeling. people are taking time out away interest their families, helping the people that don't have anything going on for themselves. >> peter ortees had been living on the streets for four months when someone from the mission give him a chance to get back on his feet. >> every day and night you can come around and find comfort. >> james macklin spent more than 20 years with the mission, working as the outreach director that took him in. >> it's a joy. i was a taker. i gave nothing. but now i don't have that many nickels and dimes. i can give them myself. >> >> macklin says it's volunteers like jazz min rodriguez who has
come here, who makes it possible. >> the mission can do the whole thanksgiving feast. this is something i belong at. >> jasmine brought her boifrt and several others along. for one frequent the first volunteering experience was an emotional one. >> i didn't think it would happen. i see all the hungry faces. >> here at this mission they had 600 volunteers to prepare and serve thanksgiving meals to the homeless. >> during the holidays the outporing of support is overwhelming. the mission had to turn away volunteers. it sees a huge wave of donations. the need for organizations like theirs that feed and help the homeless is constant. >> we serve 365 days of the year. thank you for coming thanksgiving. but think about helping us the
rest of the year. >> it's a message many organizations like the mission want people to hear. >> more stores open on thanksgiving thursday, and, of course, it's followed by the traditional black friday. cyber monday is coming up. al jazeera looks at how retailers are splitting focus between shoppers and stores and cashing in online.
monday. this year brick and mortar retailers are offering big door buster specials. analysts are not expecting consumers to bust down doors rushing to get them. americans spent nearly $2 billion on cyber monday, which saw double digit sales increases every year since 2010. >> consumers have a great deal of technology. they can shop, whether at work, through the internet and at home. >> it's not happening on desktop computers. on the go consumers are harvesting devices. retailers are spending big money on building apps. >> because of instant gratification and technology, they are offering text messaging coupons when the client is in the store and wants to get a coupon. >> the last knew months have been brutal for retailers, targetting cost-conscious
customers. walmart. seers and coles are specting leaner sales. retailers offer free shipping as a lure. >> a lot of strength comes from online channels. especially with mobile toting consumers. >> nearly half of consumers are expected to do some of their shopping online. that's up from 30% last year. analysts say a challenge for retailers now is to keep the clicking customers happy by making sure their orders ship in time for the big day. >> more travel sites are also joining the cyber monday frenzy. many hotels nationwide are expected to discount room rates by 50% through monday. that will do it for this edition of al jazeera news. news at the top of every hour. thanks for watching.
have a great evening. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher and >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher and you're in the stream. you're in the stream. the fight over washington's the fight over washington's football team heats up. football team heats up. our digital our digital producer wajahat ali producer wajahat ali is bringing in the online is bringing in the online opinions. opinions. >> do not mess with them when it >> do not mess with them when it comes to this topic, check out comes to this topic, check out my facebook page. my facebook page. we have the record number of we have the record number of comments, 230. comments, 230.